Maddie was being evacuated to the Yorkshire countryside after she was bombed out of her home in London where she lost the only relation she knew she had, her grandmother. Quite lost and forlorn she was going into the unknown to relations she had only heard about and never seen. Her parents were overseas and would eventually pick her up from her aunt and uncle.
Enroute to Yorkshire in the crowded train, a young mother thrusts her two children with no directions and no idea of where they will end up, hoping that they would be looked after. Maddie befriends Gloria and Sid and this unlikely meet up ends with them being friends forever.
The story proceeds in Yorkshire where taken in by a kind aunt and a stern grandmother who wants nothing to do with the evacuees and washes her hands off them , the children try to settle down to a life which is alien to them. This must have been the case with the many children who were sent to the countryside for their own physical safety with the bombings going on in London during the War.
The way in which the children all grew up, finding their own feet knowing they were on their own was sad. None of them had a shoulder to cry on or someone to confide in and though the Aunt was a kindly soul she had problems of her own to manage and cope with.
The story was detailed and descriptive of the emotional state of the children as they grew up and Maddie becoming adult and independent and finding a life of her own amidst heartbreak. Another book with the backdrop of the War, and the amount of damage it did to people not just as statistics but with their lives as well. A story of loss and survival.
Sent by Harper Collins UK Avon through Netgalley, for an honest review.